Taxman seeks right to enter business premises

Businesses could face surprise visits from tax inspectors under new powers
proposed in an HM Revenue &
consultation document.

include allowing officials to enter business premises and
examine merchandise and documentation. Private homes could also be included in
this space.

The proposals come amid fears that with the merger of Inland Revenue and
Customs & Excise, ordinary tax inspectors could be granted the same powers
as excise officials prusuing criminal cases.

Advisers downplayed the scope of the consultation, saying that HMRC had
acknowledged in the document that safeguards were a priority and that powers
needed to be limited and used appropriately.

HMRC has undertaken an ongoing revue of its powers following the the merger.

Further reading:

HMRC sets record straight on phone tapping

‘Bugging’ powers for tax inspectors

HMRC hands ‘Monaco Millionaires’ a lifeline

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